BERRY BITS: December 2016 - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2016 Juniper Berry Magazine

BERRY BITS: December 2016

USS John W. Brown

Take a Walk Through New York City's Cemeteries

They are found in tiny parcels of land squeezed among Manhattan buildings and in large rolling tracts of land in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. New York City's cemeteries carry on the ancient tradition of memorializing the dead with monuments, from plain gray markers to imposing crypts. Whatever their size, they tell the story of the city's evolution—its triumphs, tragedies and setbacks—as it became a global capital. From the 17th century, when the Dutch created a cemetery near present-day Wall Street, New York City has been home to some of the nation's most intriguing and famous burial grounds, from the pocket-sized Jewish burial ground of Shearith Israel to the hundreds of acres making up the majesty of Green-Wood and Woodlawn Cemeteries. Gardens of Stone takes you on a walk through these memorial parks, guiding you through works of art cast in stone, from small solitary monuments to some of the country's most grand mausoleums.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexandra Kathryn Mosca is a New York-based writer and funeral director. She is the author of Grave Undertakings and Green-Wood Cemetery. She is also a regular contributor to American Cemetery and American Funeral Director magazines.

The return of the SS John W. Brown

The SS John W. Brown, a WWll-era Liberty Ship returned to NYC for the first time since 1994. Entering the harbor, guided by a tugboat past the Statue of Liberty the Brown got a fireboat salute from the historic John Harvey museum boat. The Brown docked at Pier 36 just north of the Manhattan Bridge on the East River from Sept. 9- 19 and was open to visitors.

Half of the Brown's 72+ years have been spent in NYC, first during the war years taking cargo and troops on many voyages around the world and in convoys to Europe and then for 36 years as a school ship. The ship was loaned to the Board of Education by the Maritime Administration right after the war for teaching the maritime trades to high school students.

In 1978 Project Liberty Ship was formed to preserve the ship as a museum and in 1982 the Board Of Education determined it was too costly to operate the ship so it was towed to the Reserve Fleet on the James River in Virginia. After five years Project Liberty Ship was able to have the Brown towed to Baltimore where it was built in 1942 and volunteers have been operating and maintaining the ship since. In the 1940's and 50's Liberty ships were a common sight in many ports but today only two are operating in the US, the other one is the Jeremiah O'Brien in San Francisco.

On the final day of the Brown's stay in NY there was a living history cruise. The ship took passengers out well past the Verrazano Bridge for a day of history. On board were President Roosevelt, Admiral Halsey, General Patton, The Andrew Sisters and Abbott and Costello all played by very talented actors, comedians and singers and the deck was their stage. While at sea a vintage Avenger Navy bomber did fly-bys but the anticipated attack of Japanese Zero's never materialized so it was a quiet cruise although the Brown did test fire its cannons and anti-aircraft machine guns. While at sea in remembrance of the Navy and Merchant Marine personal that risked and those that lost their lives a wreath laying ceremony was held by a Navy Chaplin.

For more info on the John W. Brown and Project Liberty Ship for donating and volunteering write:

Project Liberty Ship

PO Box 25848

Highlandtown Station

Baltimore, MD 21224

www.ssjohnwbrown.org

Middle Village celebrated its bicentennial in style

A fantastic concert by the Queens Symphony Orchestra was held this past September 24th at Juniper Valley Park. Borough President Melinda Katz was on hand to help kick off the celebration, which was held to honor the 200th anniversary of Middle Village. Patriotic songs, show tunes and American standards were featured musical pieces. A tribute to our nation's veterans was a highlight of the evening. This was the final concert of the 2016 Juniper Valley Park Concert Series.

Juniper Juniors clean up Grand Avenue CSX bridge

The Maspeth High School Green Club and the Juniper Juniors teamed up on October 29th to paint the bridge over the CSX tracks on Grand Avenue and 79th Street. They also cleaned up refuse. Instilling a sense of civic pride in children is a key part of them transitioning into adults who take ownership of the public spaces in their communities.

L train service to be increased this spring to help M train riders

When the M train overhaul begins in the spring, the L train will see an influx of riders. The MTA has announced 3 important changes to the L train's schedule starting in June 2017:

There will be an additional 11 weekday round trips on the L line between 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Saturday service will add an additional 12 L line round trips between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Sundays will gain an additional 27 round trips on the L line between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Maspeth to celebrate its 375th Anniversary in 2017

A deed dated March 28, 1642, the oldest document on file in the Land Bureau at Albany, records the official founding of the town of Maspeth by Rev. Francis Doughty, a Massachusetts preacher who was seeking religious liberty for his breakaway congregation. New Amsterdam Governor Willem Kieft granted him 13,332 acres "in common, to found a town." Maspeth's rich history will be detailed throughout the coming year, as always, in the Juniper Berry. However, we would love to hear your ideas on other ways to appropriately commemorate this unique anniversary. Please call (718) 651-5865 or write to us at letters@junipercivic.com.

Wachter promoted to D.I.

Congratulations to Mark Wachter, Commanding Officer of the 104th Precinct, on his recent promotion from Captain to Deputy Inspector. D.I. Wachter has been a great leader and we look forward to continuing our great working relationship with him.

Marge Markey ‒ no longer missing!

That's right, she's now gone completely. Brian Barnwell knocked her out in the Democratic primary last September and then prevailed in the general election. Some are convinced that his drive and personality won him the contest, but we believe it was more the fact that the district finally woke up when faced with a real threat to the area's quality of life and realized that Marge had been a no show for the past 18 years. When she completed the trifecta of skipping out on the first homeless shelter meeting at Martin Luther High School on August 11th, then was absent during the March for Maspeth on August 27th and finally had a public meltdown at the Knockdown Center shelter meeting on August 31st, most people realized that she was done for. The September 13th primary election at that point was just a formality. Congratulations Brian Barnwell! Assembly District 30 looks forward to finally having an enthusiastic representative in Albany.